Discovery Institute: Casey & Klinghoffer

How many famous pairs of people can you think of? We’re not talking about romance or even historical reality. We mean working pairs whose names are always spoken of together — couples like Bonnie & Clyde, Butch & Sundance, Sacco and Vanzetti, Antony & Cleopatra, Orville & Wilbur, Batman & Robin, Leopold & Loeb, Dagwood & Blondie, Bill and Hillary, the Lone Ranger & Tonto …

Now we can add to that illustrious list because we have identified another coupling. We found it among the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

Yes, you’ve guessed it. We’re talking about Casey & Klinghoffer. Think about it — even the juxtaposition of their names even has a certain ring to it. Casey, as you know, has suddenly risen to academic fame as one of the co-authors of a new creation science book. We first wrote about it here: Discovery Institute: Casey’s New Book!

And you all know about David Klinghoffer, whose creationist oeuvre we last described here, and upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” — i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist. His name has some of the resonance of Red Skelton’s Clem Kadiddlehopper.

We suspect that their names shall henceforth be forever linked, professionally. It’s because of this new post at the Discoveroids’ blog: In Science and Human Origins, Casey Luskin Reveals the “Big Bang” of Human Evolution.

This is beautiful, really. Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid senior fellow, praises Casey’s book. Casey is a Discoveroid, as are the book’s other co-authors. And the book is, of course, published by the Discovery Institute Press. Further, the news of this appears at the Discoveroids’ blog. As they say in creationist circles, what are the odds of all those things coming together as the result of blind, undirected, randomness? There is meaning here — deep meaning.

But now that we’ve told you about Klinghoffer’s post, there’s not much else to say. The best we can do is select a segment or two that we find particularly noteworthy. After that you’re on your own. Okay, here we go, with bold font added by us:

Luskin’s chapter is in some ways the centerpiece of Science and Human Origins. His subject is paleoanthropology and the mystery of the “Big Bang” in human evolution, a term that aptly describes the emergence of our genus Homo some two million years ago, preceded by ape-like australopithecine predecessors that may or may not be our ancestors.

Ooooooh! Casey’s chapter is the centerpiece. Let’s read on:

Luskin has done the hard work of gathering for a non-specialist readership what the specialists in the subject actually say. In fact, he writes, “the fossil evidence for human evolution remains fragmentary, hard to decipher, and hotly debated.”

Ooooooh! Casey has done the hard work. We continue:

Casey Luskin is telling a story that was already told by anthropologists, though the media and scientists themselves, when they speak for public consumption, labor to obscure this.

Ooooooh! Casey is too important to do his own research. He’s rehashing the work of others. Truly, he’s a great Discoveroid!

There’s not much else to Klinghoffer’s review. This makes … what? … about seven or eight posts about Casey’s book that have appeared at the Discoveroid blog? Maybe ten? We’ve lost track. Anyway, this one is notable for the extra-ordinary intellectual compatibility of personalities, and if you click over there you should find it profoundly satisfying at that level. We certainly did.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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27 responses to “Discovery Institute: Casey & Klinghoffer

  1. the fossil evidence for human evolution remains fragmentary, hard to decipher, and hotly debated.

    I like this.

    First of all, because it restricts the discussion to fossil evidence. There are, as everyone knows, other areas of evidence, such as biochemical, anatomical, embryological, genetic, …

    And fragmentary. I don’t know whether he means that the fossils bones are mostly in pieces, or “fragmentary” in the sense that only bones are preserved, or that there are plenty of gaps.

    And hard to decipher. Yes, Barbie, math is hard.

    And hotly debated. The only fields that are no longer hotly debated are obsolete fields. Of course, there is no debate about whether humans are related by common descent to non-human primates. There is hot debate about Homo floresiensis. There is no debate about human origins in Africa. There is hot debate about the details of the timing and the routes taken.

  2. docbill1351

    Frick and Frack. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb. Peanut butter and Jelly. Dumb and Dumber. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Hickory Dickory and Doc. Itchy and Scratchy. Pinkie and the Brain. Ren and Stimpy. Pimple and Zit.

    What a huge list!

    And, now, we have Poohflinger and the Gerb! Or maybe Klingweasel and the Gerb?

    Klinger is the Weasel Word king! Note how he wrights insightfully “Luskin’s chapter is in some ways the centerpiece … ” Only some ways? So, in other ways Luskin’s chapter is not the centerpiece. Such conviction! Conviction-ish or Conviction Lite.

    Futhermore, Klinger boasts that Luskinthropologist is “telling a story that has already been told.” Brilliant! Attack Gerbil First Class Luskin is a story re-teller. We could make a movie out of this featuring a giant flying Kondorhoffer and a little boy, and call it “The Already-Told Story.” (It would just seem never-ending!”

    We could open the movie with a scene of the young bone-head Luskin, blindfolded, examining Helen Keller-style a drawing of Tiktaalik and exclaiming, “Wrist bones? I see no wrist bones!” while the Kondorhoffer helpfully points out that the little “u” on the drawing and the “u Ulna” in the legend are related, thus beginning the Legend of Casey. (this really happened.)

    But, don’t let my snarky comments bias your already low opinions of the Discoveryoids, no, no!

    Check out this nice review by PhD candidate Paul McBride. And he’s reviewing the rest of the book in between bouts of nausea. Good on him!

  3. We could open the movie with a scene of the young bone-head Luskin, blindfolded, examining Helen Keller-style a drawing of Tiktaalik and exclaiming, “Wrist bones? I see no wrist bones!” while the Kondorhoffer helpfully points out that the little “u” on the drawing and the “u Ulna” in the legend are related, thus beginning the Legend of Casey. (this really happened.)

    Reference, please.

  4. “Casey Luskin is telling a story that was already told by anthropologists, though the media and scientists themselves, when they speak for public consumption, labor to obscure this.”

    Obscure it by saying, “No, you idiot, that’s not what I was saying at all.”

    In other words, Casey has gathered a bunch of dishonest quote mines

  5. In fact, he writes, “the fossil evidence for human evolution remains fragmentary, hard to decipher, and hotly debated.”

    While most other “Darwinists” will shout with glee how that’s more evidence that ID “is” creationism, they will miss 2 more important points. One is how C and K deliberately bait-and-switch 2 very different meanings of “hotly debated.” They know, but won’t dare say, among with 99+% of biologists, and including the great majority of biologists who singed the bogus “dissent” statement there is no debate that all those fossils all share common ancestors. The other is that they, like Behe and Dembski, unequivocally concede that mainstream science is correct about when those events occured, and that young-earth and young-life creationists are wrong by several orders of magnitude.

  6. docbill1351

    My friend and science writer, Carl Zimmer, plays Whack a Gerb over at Discover.

    I also checked my copy of Shubin’s “Your Inner Fish” which has both diagrams and photographs and comparisons with other vertebrate limbs.

  7. aturingtest

    Casey Luskin is telling a story that was already told by anthropologists, though the media and scientists themselves, when they speak for public consumption, labor to obscure this.

    So was Dino deLaurentis, when he did his absolutely awful, cheesy remake of King Kong in 1976. In both cases, the re-tellings are just wrong; the work speaks for itself.

  8. This could be a breakthrough paper for Klingwhacker. He has, at long last, revealed the designer’s method…

    The rest of evolutionary history, of course, similarly weaves together etiological and teleological development, where long periods of mellow stasis are suddenly interrupted by the crash of lightning, precipitating bursts of what appears to be intelligent design.

    Lighting. If this is true, then perhaps Thor is the designer.

  9. NeonNoodle

    So was Dino deLaurentis…

    But the notability gap is even wider. Perhaps a better analogy might be comparing the lifework of Jane Goodall to a Magilla Gorilla cartoon.

  10. Doc: thanks for the link to Paul McBride’s site – excellent dissection of the book. I’m sure the DI will completely ignore it, and continue with their mantra that no one responds to their arguments.

  11. docbill1351

    Luskin, channeling fellow creationist and actual PhD Jon Wells, makes a Big Deal about human chromosome number 2 which appears to be a fusion of two chromosomes present in chimps, gorillas and orange Tangs ™ . However, Casey picks on Francis Collins about this when he should have a real all-beef patty with Ken Miller. Casey waves his little gerbil paws and squeaks faintly that the fusion event could have happened any old time then walks away mumbling to himself, *mutter* *mutter* not common ancestor *mutter* *mutter*

    However, typical of the dishonest creationist Luskin is, he omits a lot of information that leads one to exactly the correct conclusion and not Luskin’s pre-clusion.

    The fusion event doesn’t prove common ancestry but it supports the concept of common ancestry, and as Ken Miller points out if the fused chromosome had not been found, i.e. was absent in the human genome, then common ancestry with other primates would be in serious jeopardy. Luskin doesn’t deny the fusion event; he can’t. However, he can deliberately obscure the conclusion which he attempts to do.

    Here is Ken Miller explaining the chromosome fusion event.

  12. docbill1351

    Creationists! Can’t reason with them so you might as well laugh at them.

    Here’s Dawkins at his best talking about creationists and Kurt Wise in particular. Kurt has a Wikipedia entry if anyone is interested. Kurt has been called the “honest” creationist because he’s loud and proud about being a YEC, but Dawkins has another take.

  13. NeonNoodle

    Here’s Dawkins at his best talking about creationists and Kurt Wise in particular

    “A mind like that, it seems to me, is – well, a disgrace to the human species.” Vintage, distilled Dawkins.
    In honor of the Professor, and as an old MAD man, I propose a new acronym for the most brazen form of creationism:
    YECCH (Young Earth Creationists Counter-indicating Highbrowism)

  14. docbill1351: “[Luskin] walks away mumbling to himself, *mutter* *mutter* not common ancestor *mutter* *mutter*

    That he mumbles to himself instead of publicly challenging Behe speaks more volumes that all other Discoveroid propaganda combined.

  15. @NeonNoodle

    I see it exactly the opposite. The most brazen form of creationism is not YEC, especially not Wise’s version, which is a hairline from Omphalism. Rather it’s the Discoveroid big tent scam. Many of its peddlers are a hairline away from admitting that evolution is right. But their radical authoritarian agenda prevents them from admitting that, and forces them to censor any criticism of any form of creationism, to prevent exposing where the real weaknesses and contradictions are.

  16. In fairness to Klinghoffer, he’s capable of being whacky in multiple disciplines. With health care back in the news, you might enjoy skimming my attack on his views of health care. While my attack on Klinghoffer for failing to measure up to the standards of Judaism may not interest this audience, the part of my essay where I show how his opposition to government health care stems from fears that good health care may make people less likely to pray (seriously!) is worth knowing if you want to understand — or discredit — Republican opposition to Obamacare.

  17. Thanks Larry, very interesting take. Klinghoffer says the only reason why we go to doctors or take medicine is because we’re not spiritually exalted?

    You’re a doctor. In comes an old lady with arthritis. “Why, how dare you visit me… Clearly you are spiritually backward… If you were spiritually exalted, you would just pray on it!”

  18. Just to put this in its proper place, Carl Zimmer has taken the DI, Klinghoffer and Luskin to task for some of their statements on evolution. Luskin tried (note the past tense) to post misinformation on some things Zimmer posted. Zimmer came out swinging, and Klinghoffer and Luskin scampered back to their hidey-holes as fast as they could. Long story short (and to use the present vernacular): The DI, Klinghoffer and Luskin were pwned!

  19. @Doc Bill: Was it you who posted on their FB page the following?

    Give it up, Klinkleklankle. You guys can’t handle the light. You guys can’t handle dialogue. You guys can’t handle FaceBook although 11-year olds have no problem. You need to start your own sociopathetic media and call it FacePalm. Hey, I’ll subscribe. Srsly.

    If so, dude, we’re talking so much Mt Dew over my keyboard that Tomato Addict (and RSG!) would be envious!

  20. NeonNoodle

    @Gary:

    Yow! That was a great Carl Zimmer article – thanks so much for linking to it. Carl’s foot must be sore from kicking Flingpooper’s arse. Ha ha! I’ve read two of Zimmer’s books – Parasite Rex and Fish With Fingers… – and even gifted them to friends before, but I didn’t realize he also has an online column. I’ve lots of catching up to do in the Zimmer Archives. Thank you, oh, thank you, Masked Man!

  21. They’ll soon give up their Facebook experiment. It can get rough when you invite comments. Back to the safety of the Discoveroid blog where they do in-house peer-review.

  22. docbill1351

    Yep that was me. Now the Tute is banning all “uncivil” posts and posts longer than 100 words. They started with their chief critic Paul McBride.

    I posted a taunt on their home page aching to get banned. Please, Ban Hammer, smack your loyal servant.

  23. docbill1351

    Well, now that you know my true self, not that I ever hid anything, feel free to friend me on FaceBook and be inundated with cute Kink the Cat photos on nearly a daily basis, along with the snark of the day and other nonsense.

  24. docbill1351

    Well, I’ve been banned from a FaceBook site. My first banning ever. I’m so proud! I think it was my “nanny nanny boo boo! You can’t ban me!” taunt that did it. What a bunch of children they are.

  25. docbill1351 says: “Well, I’ve been banned from a FaceBook site. My first banning ever”

    First sensible thing the Discoveroids have ever done.

  26. docbill1351

    @Curmie

    I’ll invite you to the awards dinner.